loves & latest: September 17, 2018

monday musings

Loves

Reads

Catwoman: Soulstealer (DC Icons Series) by Sarah J. Maas

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I’ve been pleasantly surprised by this series. A few months ago, I read Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu and really enjoyed it. The Icons series reimagines the history behind the characters, going beyond the usual origin story. You don’t need to know everything about the characters to enjoy the stories; this is a modern takes on classic characters that encourages new readers. To comics fans I say, “They’re worth a read.” I’ve heard doubts about the YA rating, but these are YA only insofar as the characters are young and not yet established in their roles. Selena is 17 when the novel opens, 20 throughout the rest of the story. Bruce is 19 in Nightwalker. I’ve yet to read Wonder Woman: Warbringer, but she’s next on my list. Sarah J. Maas does a wonderful job of imagining a backstory that doesn’t involve sexual abuse, which is a major win in my book. Her Selena is different, but well-developed.

Beauty

Sappho New Paradigm CC Cream in Light

The only thing that could make this product more perfect is SPF. It’s the most perfect color match I’ve found in a green beauty product, no scent, not stickiness, it dries matte and doesn’t oxidize. I LOVE IT!


Latest

Podcast

bluestocking-circle

Didn’t know I co-host a podcast? I do!

The latest episode of The Bluestocking Circle celebrates Garth Nix’s Sabriel. Minisode 13.5 announces the next work in our series. If you want to hear three lady nerds talk superheroes, give us a listen on Podomatic, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or Spotify.

Follow us @bluesoxcircle on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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loves & latest: August 6, 2018

monday musings

Loves

Reads

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Uprooted was one of my favorite books of 2017 and I was ecstatic when I learned that there would be another work in Naomi Novik’s re-imagining of Eastern European fairy tales and folklore. This one concerns a Rumpelstiltskin like story. It’s a dark, compelling story and one I’m intrigued to finish.

Sabriel by Garth Nix

An old favorite that I recently revisited, Sabriel is a classic and still perfect in every way. It is also the coming theme for the next episode of The Bluestocking Circle, so read up now!

Beauty

Medieval by Lipstick Queen

This has genuinely become my go-to lipstick for every day. It’s sheer and glossy with just the right amount of color to look natural and put together. I also find that the formula lasts long and does not dry out my lips – win-win!

Affiliate links provide a tiny stipend that supports the podcast.


Latest

Podcast

bluestocking-circleDidn’t know I co-host a podcast? I do! 

The latest episode of The Bluestocking Circle is on The Flash (CW). Our previous episode was on The Incredibles and Incredibles II. If you want to hear three lady nerds talk superheroes, give us a listen on Podomatic, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or Spotify.

Follow us @bluesoxcircle on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

life: stepping back

I have not been kind to myself this week. I’ve been sick. I’ve been sick for a long time, but in the last week, I’ve been really sick. And I forced myself to chug through it. I’ve been hard on myself for a lot of things: writing, fitness, lack of progress in both. I’ve beat myself up over it—especially the fitness part. I’ve fallen into a pattern of negative self-talk when it comes to my body. I’m physically tired in general, add a bout of tonsillitis and my energy is next to nil. I’m trying to slow down and be kinder. It takes a lot of work. This is me thinking through it and recognizing my baggage. It’s not easy.

5 things: music to write to

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a 5 things, and with the death of Polyvore, I’ve been thinking how to create new themes.

For today, I give you 5 of the Spotify Playlists I listen to when I need to focus on writing, or while working on projects where I crave no distractions.

Thor: Ragnarok soundtrack

This album is electronic, atmospheric, and just the right amount of adrenaline-pumping to get me going. Really good for writing action.

Late Night Jazz

This playlist works for me at any time of day, but particularly when I want to relax into writing and forget about everything else. I also enjoy this playlist when settling in for a good reading session.

The Dark Knight Rises soundtrack

Like the Thor soundtrack, this one is atmospheric enough to get me going, but smooth enough when I need to focus on words rather than pacing.

Ambient Chill

I listen to this at work. It’s my version of office muzak. Unobtrusive and easy to listen to when working in an office.

Femme Fatale

Sometimes I need something dark and sexy to set the tone.

loves & latest: June 11, 2018

monday musings

Loves

Reads

I recently devoured Sarah J. Maas’s Court of Thorns and Roses series (minus the recently released novella, which I will remedy forthwith). Faeries, complex characters, and unexpected sexiness, this is the kind of story I wanted when New Adult became a thing (and completely failed to meet my expectation).

I also mention the series in the video below.

Beauty

The heat is on and I’ve been feeling nostalgic. I decided to switch my usual RMS blush for an oldie but a goodie: Benefit DandelionI wore Dandelion for years (through college and beyond), but stopped using it after greening my makeup. It’s not clean; it’s not cruelty free; it is all things bad and evil, but I love the color and I can live with my poor choices.


Latest

Podcast

bluestocking-circleEpisode 10: Gotham by Gaslight (hosted by yours truly) is now available. This episode focuses on Gotham by Gaslight (the film and graphic novel) and general thoughts on BatCat.

You can find the episode on Podomatic, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Play.

Video

May Update

Health, writing, books, and tieks!

 

loves & latest: April 23, 2018

monday musings

Loves

Reads

Finished the Veronica Speedwell mysteries and now I’m in that weird space where I can’t find a book that lives up… In the meantime, I’m trying to find the time to read Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick by Maya Dusenbery (because as a woman who has been dismissed, misdiagnosed, and chronically sick, I want all the support I can get).

Beauty

A follow-up:

A few posts ago, I gushed about how much I love the Ilia lip conditioner in Pink Moon, then I started to suspect it was causing some irritation. I stopped using it for a few weeks and wore it again last week. Suspicion confirmed, it makes my lips look like I’ve been out in the cold too long. Really dry and red around the edges. I’m debating whether I should return to Sephora or give it away. It had such promise.

Other things I’m loving:

My InstantPot! My mom gave me a mini and I’m loving the speed and efficiency it provides. Even just using the saute function speeds up my meal prep and saves me the extra time and heating costs. (Old Florida apartments were not made for climate change temperatures. My apartment is hot and the kitchen heats up like you wouldn’t believe. Needless heat? No thank you.)


Latest

Podcast

Minisode 8.5: Final thoughts on Star Wars/Spaceballs (and even Howl’s Moving Castle), favorites, and an announcementbluestocking-circle

In other news: The podcast is now available on Spotify!

You can find the episode on Podomatic, Apple Podcasts, or Google Play.

Video

April Update

All the things, and where have I been?

 

loves & latest: April 2

monday musings

Loves

Reads

A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn

Yep, I had to come back for more. This series is my new addiction and I can’t wait to pick up the next book from my library. (I’m currently #4 in line)

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

I ordered this one for my own library collection (ICYMI, I’m a librarian). I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was intrigued by the idea of YA not-yet-superheroes and Marie Lu does not disappoint. Her Bruce reads like a real person with real doubts and these are all good things.

Beauty

I tried the Tarte BB Tinted Treatment 12-hour Primer in Light and I think I finally found a color match. Not 100% green, but I don’t have a problem with the ingredients listed. It scores a 1 on the EWG Skin Deep database and feels really nice on the skin (it’s a cream to powder finish with physical SPF). I’m saving it for travel and ordering a full size.

 


Latest

Podcast

bluestocking-circleEpisode 8: Star Wars: A New Hope and Spaceballs is live! Give us a listen and follow the pod @bluesoxcircle on Twitter and Insta.

You can find the episode on Podomatic, Apple Podcasts, or Google Play.

Loves & Latest for March 26

monday musings

Loves

Reads

The Sheriff of Babylon by Tom King and Mitch Gerads

The boy says I’m having a weird literary affair with Tom King. He may be right. I enjoy his writing and this is an incredibly compelling story set during the so-called War on Terror. A hard read, but a good (and important) one.

A Duke Like No Other by Valerie Bowman

I needed something light after a series of emotionally heavy reads (see above) and this sweet romance about second chances fit the bill. Rather than the classic Duke meets lady (or other bold female) trope, the novel reminds me of Persuasion–or Persuasion if Wentworth married Anne before misunderstandings ensued. There is a heavy dose of mystery and plenty of flashbacks, which set this apart from the typical Duke romance.

(This review is based on a ARC from NetGalley)

A Curious Beginning (A Veronica Speedwell Mystery) by Deanna Raybourn

Long on my TBR list, I was inspired to check out the first in the series after listening to an excellent interview with Deanna Raybourn on the Smart Bitches Trashy Books podcast. I read it in a day. That should tell you something of my enjoyment. Mystery, banter, and serious, slow-burn tension.

Beauty

  • After my 3+ year old elf flawless face brush came apart mid-sweep, I decided it was time for an upgrade and picked up the IT Cosmetics airbrush buffing foundation brush. While not strictly a cream foundation brush, I like the flat top and it’s soft and fluffy. All good things.
  • Spring has reignited my love Red Apple Lipstick’s Hollypeno. Sadly, they just recently discontinued this shade.
  • In “project use it up” news, I hit pan on my glossier stretch concealer (I use the medium shade).

 


 

Latest

Podcast

bluestocking-circleWe just recorded Episode 8, but you can still catch up with Episode 7.5, where we wrap up our thoughts on Howl, share more recommendations, and hatch our evil plot to make Bee watch Star Wars for the First Time(!) via a carefully orchestrated comparison to Spaceballs.

You can find the episode on Podomatic, Apple Podcasts, or Google Play.

review: VienneMilano thigh highs

I’m very selective about PR that I’ll accept, but when VienneMilano reached out to me to try a pair of luxury thigh highs, I was intrigued. As a fan of tights in general, and thigh highs in particular, I was curious about the brand and selection. VienneMilano is an Italian, luxury hosiery brand headquartered in Boston. Their products are made with high quality materials and lace, and they look and feel like they will be well worth the investment. As they note, “Only love can last forever, but VienneMilano stockings will last quite a bit longer than ordinary hosiery.”

You can definitely feel the difference when you wear these. The knit feels like silk and the band reaches way up, high on the thigh and stays there. I wore these out on a humid afternoon and they stayed on without slip. Can’t wait to see how they wear over time. They come in two sizes, and their website offers an easy guide. I requested mine in large and they fit just right (I’m 5’6”, 150ish lbs, and all legs – as the boy would say)

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

I am loving my purple thigh highs, and am currently eyeing a couple of pairs in Mustard and Olive (I love brightly colored leggings with a black dress for work and play).

Watch the video for more of my thoughts and to see my awkward strut as I try to show them off.

 
I am wearing a limited edition, Claudia pair in purple, but these are pretty similar.

For more information on the brand, visit viennemilano.com

 

Disclaimer: I received a pair of thigh highs in exchange for an honest review.

Monday Musings: Loves & Latest

monday musings

Loves

Reads

Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson

Part of reducing my consumption and learning to live simply is my desire to live a more sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle. I have a long way to go, but this book provides practical, tested advice from one of the top advocates of the Zero Waste Movement.

Beauty (aka. on my face)

Nothing new, but I am appreciating a nude pink lip now that the season is changing. Current rotation: MAC Mehr and Patisserie (obvs. not cruelty free or eco, but I’m not a purist), and Kosas Undone.


Latest

Media

Between writing and life, I shoved recording to the side, so no videos for the moment. Instead, I give you the latest installment of The Bluestocking Circle Podcast — lady nerds on popular culture.

I got to play host for Episode 7: Howl’s Moving Castle, so if you love Howl as much as I do, give it a listen. Follow us on twitter and instagram for updates and plenty of fangirling.